A survey from Deloitte found that consumer expectations about healthcare providers and interactions in healthcare settings are being formed by the types of positive experiences they have with other industries, such as banking and retail.
Personalized attention, tailored solutions, transparency regarding what to expect and how much it will cost, and convenient, expanded access to services are just a few of their expectations.
Personalized Healthcare Experiences
But in what priority order would consumers place their expectations? Deloitte identified 64 interactions within the healthcare journey and then randomly pitted statements against each other to determine what types of choices and tradeoffs consumers would make. The results were placed into four groups of interactions and ranked based on priority.
The group that topped the list was “personalization expected via providers” (or, said another way, a personalized healthcare experience from their doctors).
From the responses, it was clear that the healthcare provider relationship remains the top priority for consumers. Specifically, consumers placed great importance on having a doctor or healthcare provider who:
- Spends sufficient time with them and doesn’t rush them through exams (this ranked #1 overall for the survey)
- Listens and shows they genuinely care about them (ranked #3 overall)
- Clearly explains what they are going to do and what they expect the consumer to do later, such as personal follow-up care or next steps with treatments (ranked #4 overall)
They also placed a high level of importance on receiving clear, helpful information about their diagnoses and conditions, an expectation that ranked #6 overall.
The second group of priorities was classified as “economically rational coverage and care choices.” In other words, what are my options and how much will it cost me? Consumers want affordable care. What they don’t want is surprises.
With healthcare costs a huge concern, consumers want it to be perfectly clear what is and isn’t covered, and what their out-of-pocket expenses will be. They want to know the doctors they are seeing are in network, the specialists they are being referred to are in network, and if the procedures or tests providers are requesting are covered. Consumers ranked “all my doctors are in-network and covered” as their #2 priority overall in the survey.
The third group of priorities was classified as “convenience-driven access to and use of care.” This included things like having minimal to no wait time at the doctor’s office or in other healthcare settings, and the ability to get appointment times and dates that consumers found convenient.
This group also included the desire consumers have for someone they can count on to resolve issues (billing, customer service, etc.) on their behalf, no matter how long it took to do so. In fact, ranking #18 overall was “a customer service representative or billing agent who will work on an issue until it is completely resolved, even if it means research and multiple calls on their end.”
The final group of priorities centered around being “digitally connected to manage healthcare.” This would include things like being able to connect with their doctor across multiple digital platforms or having access to digital healthcare tools and resources.
Care Coordination Matters
As evidenced by growing demand for value-based care, as well as the survey results, consumers want, expect, and prioritize personalized healthcare experiences. They want to be heard and understood, receive clear instructions on what to do after a visit, and have their doctor communicate with other doctors in managing their care.
Meeting all these expectations and more is the purpose behind care coordination. Care coordination is a patient-centered, team-based approach to healthcare that takes place between office visits and helps consumers better manage their health and overall well-being. When it’s done by true care coordinators, services and personalized assistance are provided 24/7, health information is shared among all the individual's providers, and healthcare goals are established and supported.
A Family Affair
Also interesting to note from the survey, consumers don’t just want personalized support for themselves. They also want it extended to their families and communities.
Things like “providing updates to family during and after a procedure” and having “a care provider who helps me and my family create a care plan” ranked high in priority, revealing the importance many consumers place on taking a family-based approach to care.
As a team from Deloitte noted when publishing the survey results, “Healthcare is not a solitary experience. Coordination with family, caregivers, and even friends and neighbors improves both the experience and outcomes.”